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Tributes to 9-year-old ATV crash victim who 'lived life to the fullest'

Carter Nicolai died after a rollover crash.

The victim of a fatal ATV crash in Dakota County earlier this week has been identified as a 9-year-old boy. 

Carter Nicolai was riding a smaller ATV over dirt piles in an open lot near his home around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Dakota County Sheriff's Office. Nicolai was fatally injured in a rollover crash, with a passerby calling 911 after finding him unresponsive and underneath the ATV. 

An off-duty nurse and deputies were attempting life-saving measures within five minutes but despite their best efforts Nicolai died at the scene. 

A GoFundMe for his family has generated more than $25,000 in less than a day, with the organizer of the fundraiser describing Nicolai as a survivor of a bone marrow transplant five years ago due to aplastic anemia, which according to the Mayo Clinic is a condition that occurs when your body doesn't produce enough new blood cells. 

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The fundraiser explains that Nicolai "truly lived life to the fullest" since his recovery. 

"Let's come together as a community to help support his parents Brian and Sandy Nicolai and his three siblings," the organizer, Noreen Nordling, wrote. 

On Wednesday night, community members of Randolph, a town of about 450 residents south of the Twin Cities, honored Nicolai by driving tractors, which he loved, and all types of vehicles by his home in a "Cruise for Carter" event. 

"We need to lift this family up and show them how many people truly love and care about them. Feel free to shine a light on your way by to try and brighten up this dark time," the event page on Facebook said. 

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